For some reason, I spent this morning’s journey to work thinking about those people I would describe as heroes (or indeed heroines)... and in particular how I would react if I ever met any of them.
I remember as a youngster my first hero was the Lancashire and West Indian cricketer Clive Lloyd. Somewhat bizarrely, I encountered some of the 1973 West Indies touring squad on a platform at York Station. As a startstruck youngster, I was thrilled to meet (and get autographs from) the likes of Rohan Kanhai, Lance Gibbs, Keith Boyce, Vanburn Holder, Alvin Kallicharran and Deryck Murray... but when I offered my book to Lloyd, he just brushed me aside saying he’d signed enough autographs...
Safe to say he was no longer a hero...
Curiously, many years later, I played alongside Alvin Kallicharran in a game against my old school. Irrelevant, but interesting... fair enough irrelevant and uninteresting...
I don’t suppose I will ever meet my ultimate sporting idol Muhammad Ali, but there’s always an outside chance I might bump into my favourite sportswoman Steffi Graf whilst I’m out shopping in Monaco... I’m not sure what I would say... my grasp of German isn’t as good as it was during my schooldays, so I’d probably just go red and regress to being a giggly teenager...
Thinking about it, I haven’t really met too many “celebrities” and I appreciate the term is subjective. I did once stand at an adjacent urinal to former Australian rugby league international Kerrod Walters... not for any reason, I just thought it was a good place to stand. I’ve been lucky to have met and even played with and against many fine cricketers but away from the sporting arena, I did once pass Bruce Forsyth on the stairs in Harrod’s on a very rare trip to the capital. Before you ask I wasn’t tempted to do the “nice to see you...” catchphrase, but I did wonder about asking where the floor with the toy department was located in the hope that he would dither, point upwards and say.... “higher....”
He’s not very tall by the way...
They do say you should never meet your heroes as the picture you build of a person is often shattered by the reality... but if I had the chance I’d certainly like to tell Mike Peters (of The Alarm) just how much his music has meant to me... and as for Above Suspicion actress Kelly Reilly... whilst she’s not exactly a hero(ine), I would still like her to know I’m free on Saturday!!!
All my own work... almost.